Special Announcement: Kidney Medicine, New Open Access Journal from NKF

The National Kidney Foundation is pleased to announce a new open access journal, Kidney Medicine, which is now open for submissions of original research, case reports, research letters, and reviews. AJKDBlog recently interviewed the editorial team of the new journal: Editor-in-Chief, Daniel Weiner (DW), and Associate Editors, David Drew (DD), Craig Gordon (CG), and Hocine Tighiouart (HT).

AJKDBlog: First things first. Please tell us more about Kidney Medicine and what our readers should know if they would like to submit their manuscript to this journal.

DW: Kidney Medicine is a clinical and clinical research–oriented open access journal. I see Kidney Medicine as filling a niche, focusing on aspects of nephrology that matter to providers, patients, and patients’ families, building upon the National Kidney Foundation’s family of top quality journals.

At Kidney Medicine, we strive for efficiency while maintaining high quality. We are excited to receive new submissions and will also accept submissions directed from AJKD. In the latter case, we usually will be able to use the peer reviews from AJKD in making our editorial decision. Like AJKD, we put tremendous importance on validity; accordingly, Hocine Tighiouart, who was a statistical editor at AJKD from 2009-2016, is on the Kidney Medicine team as an Associate Editor.

I do want to emphasize that novelty is far less important than clinical significance and validity. In fact, it is critical that we highlight important issues that affect patients, even if they have been shown before.

Lastly, as a researcher myself and as a former Deputy Editor at AJKD, I have seen how difficult it is to publish qualitative research and research that explores patient-reported outcomes. I see Kidney Medicine as a landing point for this research as we work to make the patient voice more apparent in the clinical practice of nephrology.

AJKDBlog: You’re no stranger to being an editor at a journal, having served as AJKD Deputy Editor under Andrew Levey and now as Policy Forum Editor under Harold Feldman. What have you learned from your experience in those roles that will help shape Kidney Medicine?

DW: On the personal front, I have really enjoyed being a journal editor. It is lot of fun seeing what people are doing, what knowledge is being generated, and how data are being conceptualized. I think the lesson from my time in editorial roles is to value those elements of medical publishing and recognize the utility in increasing available knowledge.

AJKDBlog: Do you have any pet peeves as a reader/author/reviewer/editor that you’re willing to share?

DW: Recognizing that I am probably just a bit obsessive-compulsive (understatement alert), I will have to admit to some pet peeves. In part, I can blame growing up with an English teacher for a mother. So, here goes…

1) “Data are” and not “data is”

2) “Among” rather than “between”

3) “S” apostrophe for plural nouns

4) I have a thing for the English subjunctive

I guess that is sufficient for grammar…

On a more serious note, there are two items that I think are on top of my list. The first is when an article is poorly written, particularly when it includes authors that I know are strong writers. The second is when an article makes a big deal about being the ‘first’ to show something. Being the ‘first’ just is not that important; rather, I think it is important to do something well.

Daniel Weiner

AJKDBlog: The publication landscape is rapidly changing day by day, and you’ve probably seen a lot of transformation in journal publishing from your days in medical school to being Editor-in-Chief today. What is the biggest challenge that Kidney Medicine will need to tackle in order to be a successful journal in the field of nephrology?

DW: The medical journal space is a crowded one. Our challenge will be to distinguish Kidney Medicine from other open access journals. The reality of open access is that it is expensive. We have tried to be very competitive in the cost of publishing, but our job will be to make publishing in Kidney Medicine a high value proposition. This begins with assembling a great team, and I think we have done that. We have strong clinicians and researchers as Associate Editors and a stellar editorial board. We have great support from the publishers at Elsevier, and we have a society, the National Kidney Foundation, that is focused on patients. With a great team, I think we can achieve the mission that we developed for Kidney Medicine.

AJKDBlog: When you are not wearing your nephrologist hat, what are your favorite things to do with your free time?

DW: For the next week at least, I suspect I’ll be watching the World Series (Go Sox!!) I love sports – playing, watching, and coaching. I enjoy reading and biking. And, most importantly, I love spending time with my family.

AJKDBlog: Thank you for taking the time to do this interview! Follow Dr Weiner on Twitter @dwein003. Over to the Associate Editors now… Given the multiple competing demands on time that clinician-researchers experience, what motivated you to join the Kidney Medicine editorial team (or in other words, what were you thinking?)?

David Drew

DD: The opportunity to work with Dan and the rest of the editorial team – Dan did a great job at AJKD that I know he will be able to replicate that here.

CG: I am always excited by the challenges and opportunity associated with new projects and with the chance to create something new.  This was actually an easy decision for me to be part of the team to develop a new journal.

HT: I wanted to contribute to improving the quality of the articles from a statistical perspective. It is important for the peer-review process to include a statistical review because this will improve the manuscript in areas such as data sources, study design, as well as presentation and interpretation of results.

AJKDBlog: What have you learned through your experiences with other journals, as a reviewer or editor, that you will bring to Kidney Medicine?

DD: I was the nephrology guest editor at Clinical Therapeutics. I really enjoyed being part of a team. As I was the only nephrologist, I was able to review many different types of manuscripts. Seeing all the types of research being conducted around the world was also beneficial to me from the clinical research side – I learned different ways of approaching research problems that I hope to apply in my own research.

CG: I had an amazing experience last year when I was invited to serve as a guest editor for a special issue of Hemodialysis International on hepatitis C virus in chronic kidney disease. This motivated me to continue to develop my skills as an editor and was a key factor in my joining Kidney Medicine as an Associate Editor.

Hocine Tighiouart

HT: I served as a statistical editor for AJKD from 2007 to 2017. I am currently a statistical editor for JASN and also review articles for BMC Nephrology. As a reviewer, I learned and developed new skills on how to check data results presented in a tabular or graphical format. A good statistical review involves not only making sure that the study design, statistical analysis methods, and interpretation of data are accurate, but also making sure the data results provided are aligned with these statistical components.

AJKDBlog: Tell us about a recent study you worked on; what was exciting about it for you?

DD: I have recently been working with some ancillary studies to SPRINT – the trial has already produced landmark findings but should be incredibly productive going forward as well. The most exciting aspect for me (as a nephrologist) is that the trial, unlike most, included 1/3 of participants with kidney disease. This really helps in determining if the results apply to our individual patients, rather than having to extrapolate data from the general population.

Craig Gordon

CG: I have been very busy for the past few years with all things related to hepatitis C virus in CKD, including serving on the evidence review team for the recent KDIGO guidelines on HCV as well as in the guest editor role for Hemodialysis International. It is an exciting time in this area now that extremely effective direct acting antiviral (DAA) agents are available with high cure rates; the challenge is now strategizing which patients would benefit from treatment and when in their course of disease, as well as implementation of systems to treat these patients.

HT: I had the privilege of analyzing a large dataset of dialysis patients looking at flu vaccine effectiveness and the impact of the various flu vaccine types on outcomes. This is such an important and relevant topic to study, as many questions have emerged on the utility of flu vaccine for patients on dialysis.

AJKDBlog: When you are not wearing your nephrologist/statistician hat, what are you favorite things to do with your free time?

DD:I love to spend time outside with my kids, watch football, and cook.

CG: A bit cliché, but I truly enjoy spending as much time as possible with my wife and two young children! I love exciting my kids with nature and getting them outside to enjoy hiking, kayaking, etc., at least as long as the New England weather cooperates.

HT: I like to spend my free time playing soccer and also watching European soccer, especially the English Premier League, with my son.

AJKDBlog: Thank you for all for joining this interview, and best of luck with the new journal!


Details on Kidney Medicine can be found via these links:

Questions? Contact the Managing Editor, Elizabeth Frank, at edoffice@kidneymedj.org.


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